United States bombers overfly Korean peninsula in show of force

UK draws up battle plan in case of North Korea war

Hackers believed to be from North Korea are casing out United States electric companies in preparation for a possible cyber attack - so says security firm FireEye.

South Korean analysts say the nighttime flights, and also the decisions by Washington and Seoul to release the itinerary of the warplanes, are aimed at sending a clear warning to North Korea and demonstrating capability for surprise attacks.

Rep. Lee Cheol-hee, a lawmaker for the ruling Democratic Party, cited unidentified defense officials as saying the hackers stole the plans past year, according to the reports.

In an obvious show of force over the continued missile activities of North Korea, led by Kim Jong Un, the U.S. military has flown two strategic bombers over the Korean peninsula.

North Korean hackers allegedly stole classified military documents from a South Korean Defense Ministry database in September 2016, according to Rhee Cheol-hee, a member of South Korea's National Assembly.

"Flying and training at night with our allies in a safe, effective manner is an important capability shared between the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea and hones the tactical prowess of each nations' aviators", Major Patrick Applegate said in a statement.

The bomber drill came as US President Donald Trump on Tuesday discussed "a range of options" with his national security team to respond to North Korea's recent missile and nuclear tests.

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About 235 gigabytes worth of military data was stolen by the hackers, Rhee said.

"I'm not going to address the specifics of that discussion but what I will tell you is that it is a ROK-US alliance commitment to make sure that they safeguard operations and plans", he added.

In a pair of tweets sent Saturday afternoon, Trump said past agreements with North Korea have all been violated.

Commenting on the news is Chris Doman, security researcher at AlienVault, who is investigating hacking groups in North Korea.

However, Trump said he still had confidence in the secretary of state. This positive process is worth a try", said an editorial in the state mouthpiece Global Times, following yesterday's military exercises."War would be a nightmare for the Korean Peninsula and surrounding regions.

The U.S. has been pursuing a strategy of "maximum pressure" on North Korea, applying diplomatic and economic pressure multilaterally and unilaterally.

The stolen money was likely used to help advance North Korea's development of nuclear weapons, Anthony Ruggiero, a senior fellow for Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told CNN at the time.

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